Monday, February 29, 2016

Tortie Shorties on Mystery Monday

Meows from Mudpie!

Love cat cozies? You've come to the right place!

Read on for our reviews of two of the latest and greatest :)

From the publisher: While Joe Grey and Dulcie joyfully await their first kittens, they grieve for the old yellow cat, Misto, whose time on earth is drawing to an end. But Misto tells them an exciting afterlife lies ahead for him; and he sees, as well, an adventurous future for the kittens: Among the litter will be a little calico returned from the distant past. She will be born with the same unique markings as in ancient tapestries and paintings, and with the same indomitable spirit as Joe Grey. As Joe and Dulcie stand by for the birth of their kittens, they work swiftly to unmask a killer, a predator attacking the most vulnerable citizens in the small coastal community of Molena Point.

Tortie Shorties Review: I did a little research and discovered that the very first Joe Grey mystery was published 20 years ago in 1996. I have every book in my collection, and while I haven't read the entire series yet, I have read several and through the years have enjoyed watching Joe and Dulcie solve crimes together and ultimately fall in love. In book 19, Cat Shout for Joy, monumental changes are afoot for the fearless felines and residents of Molena Point.

For anyone new to the series, these cats have the ability to talk and many people in town share their secret. One human who is blissfully unaware is the police chief Max, but the cats still use their talent to be a snitch for the Molena Point Police Department via anonymous phone calls. Their investigative abilities are needed more than ever following a series of seemingly random attacks on the elderly, some of which have turned deadly. When a close friend is murdered while renovating a home and another friend is framed for the killing, it's up to the cats to put an end to the madness.

Cat Shout for Joy blends the sweet with the bittersweet: as Joe and Dulcie prepare for the birth of their kittens, they are also forced to say goodbye to their dear friend Misto. One of my favorite characters is sidekick Kit, who is often referred to as a "flighty tortoiseshell". Each of these cats has a unique personality that will capture reader's imaginations. I appreciated how the culprit(s) is revealed 2/3 of the way into the book subsequently allowing more time to be spent on the motive and capture. All too often loose ends are left untied until the final three pages.

Whether you've spent the last 2 decades following Joe and Dulcie's adventures or you're new to the dynamic duo, Cat Shout for Joy will leave you purring.

From the publisher: Magic and meows meet in the first enchanting Witch’s Cat mystery!
Unlucky-in-love artist Annabelle Britton decides that a visit to the seaside town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the perfect way to get over her problems. But when she stumbles upon a smoky gray cat named Alastair, and follows him into a charming cottage, Annabelle finds herself in a whole spellbook full of trouble.

Suddenly saddled with a witch's wand and a furry familiar, Annabelle soon meets a friendly group of women who use their spells, charms, and potions to keep the people of Portsmouth safe. But despite their gifts, the witches can’t prevent every wicked deed in town....

Soon, the mystery surrounding Alistair’s former owner, who died under unusual circumstances, grows when another local turns up dead. Armed with magic, friends, and the charmed cat who adopted her more than the other way around, Annabelle sets out to paw through the evidence and uncover a killer.

Tortie Shorties Review: This has been my most anticipated release of 2016 ever since I first saw a preview of the cover. The debut of the Witch's Cat mystery series is not to be missed.

Our protagonist Anna is a thirty-five-year-old freelance artist and illustrator. She has the ability to pick up on "vibes" from her surroundings, which makes her a bit nervous when she visits her best friend in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, since her grandmother seems to have a mysterious connection to the place. The vibe hits her full force when a gray cat, Alistair, leads her to a charming cottage behind the B&B where she's staying. As she goes down the basement stairs she feels that the woman who lived there died a violent death. Alistair's owner Dorothy lived there and while the police ruled her death accidental, others in town believe it was murder. Her nephew Frank, who runs the local newspaper, offers to let Anna rent the cottage in exchange for her help in uncovering what happened to his aunt. Anna agrees, seeing it as an opportunity to test out her unique talent.

Each and every character introduced in this series is absolutely enchanting, especially Alistair (of course!) And the coven of witches that welcome Anna ends up changing her life, as they are able to teach her a lot about her gifts and how to use them. Twists and turns are around every corner and I was kept guessing until the very end.

The next book in the series, By Familiar Means, comes out in September, and I can hardly wait to see what comes next for Anna and Alistair.


Jeanetta said...

Both of these books sounds delightful mystery reads. Thank you for the reviews. :)

Anonymous said...

More cat books to love! Great review - thanks!!

Marg said...

Those sound like such good books. Can't wait to read them. Great reviews.

Hannah and Lucy said...

Those books look like they are going to be very popular - we hope Mum will find us some great blloks to read to us.
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

Three Chatty Cats said...

I will have to check these out! The only "cat" novels I've read are the Cat Who books.

pilch92 said...

Those both sound good.

The Menagerie Mom said...

I just love your book reviews, Mudpie and Melissa. You always feature books that sound so fun. Thanks for sharing! Purrs!

Sue said...

I too super enjoy the Joe Grey book. I think it's my favorite series.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Melissa. I've looked forward to A Familiar Tail, also, and have it on order. I've not read the Joe Grey mysteries and need to check them out.

Fur Everywhere said...

Cat Shout for Joy sounds like an interesting book - I haven't read any of the series, but it sounds like something I'd enjoy!

I loved A Familiar Tail!! I didn't know a new book is coming out in September - I am looking forward to reading that one!

Nancy said...

These both look awesome!! Thank you, Mudpie, for your recommendations and discerning eye!

Mickey's Musings said...

These books sound most interesting.
We know mum would enjoy reading them.
Thanks for the review :)
Purrs Georgia and Julie,
Treasure and JJ

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

We love reading your cat book reviews. These sound interesting.